Return of the Red Moon: The Show Skips North America Though

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ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

ALTAY, CHINA - JUNE 16: (CHINA OUT) A view of total lunar eclipse on June 16, 2011 in Altay, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China.

Nature seems to work its wonders in well orchestrated series these days. The volcanic dust from the recent eruption in Chile has made the moon deep blood red during last night’s lunar eclipse.

Though we’ve seen the crimson moon last winter, this year’s eclipse is the first in 11 years to last for whole 100+ minutes. Europe and South America had a better viewing time in the evening, but in Asia, Africa, and Australia the show took place in the wee hours, too late for the non-hardcore night owls. North America unfortunately didn’t get their share of the eclipse, for this grand scale event ended just around 7 p.m. EST.

(PHOTOS: Total Eclipse of the Moon)

Despite the varying show times, people around the globe brought much excitement and festivity to the viewings. At Sydney Observatory in Australia, a woman in vampire costume and a boy in Superman gears were among the crowd that watched the moon disappear into earth’s shadows. Manila’s stargazers came well prepared with warm blankets and coffee flasks. Egyptians gathered in the now historic Tahrir Square and watched in awe. Some Singaporean enthusiasts even waited four hours to reserve the best viewing spots at a local science center.

One expert, Professor Fred Watson, at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, however, says that the best view would be outer earth–from the moon itself.

“If you could watch the phenomena, you would see the earth moving across the sun and it creating a brilliant red rim around the earth,” he said (via AFP).

Don’t be discouraged even if you missed it this time around. There will be more celestial activities to come this year: the next total lunar eclipse will be on Dec 10, and partial solar eclipses, on July 1 and November 25.

(PHOTOS: Total Eclipse of the Sun)